I’ve been pretty mum on my thoughts on the Defenders and think I’ll break my silence this weekend on Twitter. It’s hard to believe that Daredevil paved the way for the Defenders way back in 2015. It seems like all my friends are tuning in despite not really being comic book fans and there’s a reason for that. Netflix has lifted their mask, so to speak, and revealed that 1 in 8 Netflix subscribers who had previously never watched superhero content on Netflix have discovered at least one of the Marvel series.
Have you ever seen your friends Netflix account, or another account on your own Netflix and noticed how different it looks? There’s method to the madness.
Here’s a topline look at the unexpected pathways that introduced Netflix viewers to the Marvel Universe. Some of these make sense (Bloodline, House Of Cards) while some seem really left field (Friends, John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid).
· Moral Ambiguity: Bloodline, House of Cards, Narcos, Supernatural
· Anti-heroes: Breaking Bad, Dexter, The Walking Dead
· Comedic Ensembles: Orange is The New Black, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Friends
· Sharp Humor: Friends, John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid, Master of None, The Ridiculous 6
· Strong Female Leads: Orange is the New Black
· Dark Crime: Making A Murderer, Narcos, River
· Supernatural Worlds: The 100, The Walking Dead
· Dangerous Worlds: ARQ, Narcos, Stranger Things, The Walking Dead
· Dark Side of Society / Commentary on Society: Amanda Knox, Black Mirror, Easy
· Comedic Troublemakers: Shameless, The Ranch
· Stand-up: Amy Schumer: The Leather Special, Dave Chappelle
· Coming-of-age Dramas: 13 Reasons Why, Burning Sands
· Coming-of-age Comedies: Grace & Frankie, Love, Shameless
· Supernatural Romance: The 100, The Vampire Diaries
It’s very interesting to the see the gateway laid out in front of you.
These are the categories that help determine the suggested Marvel show:
Anti-heroes and moral ambiguity lead viewers to Marvel’s Daredevil.
Stories that dabble in life’s grey area heighten viewers’ senses for Daredevil, like the political turmoil of House of Cards and the thin lines of family loyalty in Bloodline. As do characters who blur the lines between vigilante and villain, like Walter White’s entrepreneurial antics in Breaking Bad and Dexter Morgan’s homicidal heroics in Dexter.
Sharp humor, strong females and dark crime draw watchers to Marvel’s Jessica Jones.
It’s Jessica Jones’ sharp wit that makes her binge-worthy. Series with smart humor, like Master of None, Friends, and John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid, draw viewers to Jones as do stories with strong female leads, like Orange is the New Black. A nod to her detective roots, series immersed in dark criminal worlds also do the trick, like the psychological thrill of Making A Murderer.
Dangerous worlds and complex consequences direct viewers to Marvel’s Luke Cage.
Shows that expose the dark side of society draw viewers to Luke Cage, like the question of guilt in Amanda Knox and the examination of technology in Black Mirror. Similarly, series immersed in dangerous realms, like a cartel-ridden Medellin in Narcos and a zombie-filled Atlanta in The Walking Dead, lead watchers to Cage’s world.
Edgy coming-of-age tales steer watchers to Marvel’s Iron Fist.
Grit isn’t the only path to a comic binge. Edgy coming-of-age series, like Love, Shameless and 13 Reasons Why bring viewers to Danny Rand and his transitional tale from orphan to crime fighter. The passage from warrior to winner also struck a chord with viewers courtesy of Ultimate Beastmaster.
Iron Fist has to be the most peculiar of the bunch. My mom loves Grace and Frankie but she’s not going like Danny Rand and his powerful fist. Of course, those other shows down the path aren’t on her viewing list so she will probably never have it recommended.
“At Netflix we know genres are just wrappers, which is why we work hard to create algorithms that help members break these pre-conceived notions and make it easier for them to find stories they’ll love, even in seemingly unlikely places,” said Todd Yellin, Vice President of Product.
For a nerd like me, I don’t need to be told to watch the Defenders. I’m there, but if this algorithm gets more people on board and we get more Marvel shows I’m all for it. Finally, for those that haven’t watched the Marvel series, I’d start with Daredevil and make your way down the list. Here’s how I’d rank each series. I think they all are tremendous but pacing issues and some unexplainable plot devices bog them down.
6. Daredevil Season 2
5. Iron Fist (Honestly, unlike the other series Iron Fist really picks up in the back half)
4. Luke Cage (Really falls off in the back half)
3. The Defenders
2. Jessica Jones (3 episodes too long)
1. Daredevil Season 1
Hit me up on Twitter to let me know your top fav Marvel show and thoughts on the Defenders.